There was a time and place when metal, especially black metal, was supposed to sound like it was recorded in an underground lair, with zero attention paid to production values. It was war all the time, and the rougher and more abrasive your music sounded, the better it would be received by its audience.
That type of thing doesn’t happen nearly enough anymore. Perhaps we’ve all gotten over the idea that the only way to be true is to record on shitty equipment and have it sound like a blur of chaos. Or maybe it’s just an idea that’s kind of lost for the most part. California-based unit VoidCeremony are not exactly musicians who cling to polish and putting out records that are pristine. Their brand of black and death metal sounds like it was chewed up by a machine, sent into space, infected with intergalactic parasites, and shot into your ears. If you listen closely, and you must if you want to pick out nuances, you can hear the brilliance and the alien tendencies that make their music so destructive. But no doubt it’s smeared with noise and terror so much so that it often feels like you’re being crushed by a formless blur that won’t go away.
VoidCeremony formed in 2013 by former members of Portalgeist, releasing their first EP “Dystheism” a year later, and now following up with their latest collection “Cyclical Descent of Causality” that we’re discussing today. The band is comprised of the aforementioned Portalgeist members Garrett Johnson (guitars/vocals) and Jon Reider (guitars/vocals), and joining them are bassist I. Mann and C. Koryn, who both plan in the awesome death metal band Ghoulgotha. Certainly we are at the beginning of this band’s run, but there are plenty of hints at the madness that could be ahead of them simply based on the strength of this release.
The band kicks off with “Benighted By Malignant Sorrow,” a track that meets you with washed-out fury, vocals that are barely audible beneath the din, and swirling, entrancing melodies that do not make themselves obvious. The band plays in deliberate circles, allowing the song to burst apart, with vivid soloing tearing out of the space. There are tons of shifts, the band feels like it’s boring a hole through the side of a mountain, and the track comes to an abrupt end. “Sacrosanct Delusions” follows and sets everything ablaze. The growls that creep absolutely lacerate, while the band hits speed runs, all situated under a blanket of sound. The playing is tricky and mucky in spots, with the growls feeling grim, and the momentum continues on high right up to the end of the assault. Closer “Empty Grand Majesty” has some awesome leads and an emerging progressive personality, with interesting riffs sprawling out, calculated mashing causing bruises, and the sound boiling and churning. The pace later reignites, with the vocals scraping, melodies spiraling out of control, the feeling that a storm is taking over. A final dose of spacey weirdness makes this all catapult toward a bizarre finish.
VoidCeremony have the goods to make a serious dent in the metal underground, and their soot-caked, noise-infested sound should warm the hearts of those who spearheaded and participated in tape-trading culture. They are a fiery, violent band that operates in the shadows musically and definitely has the power to enjoy a vicious future. “Cyclical Descent of Causality” is one of their first building blocks, and it’s one soaked with blood and bone dust.
To buy the album, go here: http://shop.bloodharvest.se/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.bloodharvest.se/